April 28

Anolon Cookware: A Detailed Review of Their Popular Lines

By trk

Last Updated: May 3, 2022

Anolon, best anolon cookware, cookware

Anolon is a cookware industry giant. They're best known for their PTFE nonstick made with anodized aluminum, and they also make some clad stainless steel lines. Their newest product is a nonstick/stainless hybrid, AnolonX (similar to Hexclad).

Anolon is a mid-range brand marketed to a wide range of buyers and particularly buyers looking for PTFE nonstick. Their nonstick cookware gets some of the best reviews around for durability and longevity. 

Here we take a detailed look at all the Anolon cookware lines and help you figure out which lines are worth considering.  

Anolon Cookware Summary: Nouvelle Luxe and Nouvelle Stainless Steel are the lines to buy.

Best features: Affordable, Nouvelle lines have excellent heating properties.

Worst features: The clad stainless can't compete even with cheaper All-Clad knockoffs.

Anolon Cookware Lines at a Glance

These cookware lines are taken from the anolon.com website. You may find other lines on Amazon or elsewhere (probably discontinued), but these are the official current Anolon lines (as of early 2022). 

Lines are listed in alphabetical order. We've asterisked the ones we recommend, and do more detailed reviews of them below, plus a section on why we don't recommend the other lines.

Cookware Line/Buy Options

Features

Anolon Accolade Skillet Set

-Forged anodized aluminum body (thick and heavy)

-PTFE nonstick inside and out

-3 layers of sapphire-reinforced nonstick cooking surface

-Flush rivets on cooking surface

-Cast stainless handles

-Induction compatible

-Glass lids

-Dishwasher safe

-Metal utensil safe

-Oven safe to 500F

-Not broiler safe

-12pc set about $550/8"-10" skillet set about $100.

Anolon Advanced Hard Anodized 10/12" Skillet Set

NOTE: Advanced and Advanced Home are similar with identical performance but have different open stock and set options.

-Anodized aluminum body

-PTFE nonstick inside and out

-3 layers of sapphire-reinforced nonstick cooking surface

-SureGrip rubberized handles

-Glass lids w/SureGrip handles

-Oven safe to 400F

-NOT broiler safe

-Measuring marks on saucepans

-NOT induction compatible

-NOT dishwasher safe

-NOT broiler safe

-Up to 3 colors: Bronze, Graphite, Indigo

-11pc set about $300/10"-12" skillet set about $70.

Anolon Advanced Home Indigo Skillet

NOTE: Advanced and Advanced Home are similar with identical performance but have different open stock and set options.

-Anodized aluminum body

-PTFE nonstick inside and out

-3 layers of sapphire-reinforced Infinity Slide™ nonstick cooking surface

-SureGrip rubberized handles

-Glass lids w/SureGrip handles

-Oven safe to 400F

-NOT broiler safe

-Measuring marks on saucepans

-NOT induction compatible

-Not dishwasher safe

-Up to 4 colors: Moonstone, Bronze, Onyx, Indigo

-11pc set about $300/8"-10" skillet set about $80.

Anolon Advanced Tri-Ply 8:10 Skillet Set

-Tri-ply 18/0 stainless/aluminum stainless body, about 2.3mm thick

-Polished exterior/brushed cooking surface

-Nonstick skillet has triple layer of PTFE

-SureGrip rubberized handles

-Glass lids w/SureGrip handles

-Induction compatible

-Dishwasher safe

-Oven safe to 400F

-NOT broiler safe (because of handle)

-2 colors: Bronze, Onyx (handles only)

-10pc set about $300/8"-10" skillet set about $56.

Anolon Allure skillet

-Forged anodized aluminum body (thick and heavy)

-PTFE sapphire-reinforced InfinitySlide™ nonstick cooking surface

-Clear coat exterior (dishwasher safe)

-Flush rivets on cooking surface

-Cast stainless handles

-NOT induction compatible

-Glass lids

-Dishwasher safe

-Oven safe to 500F

-NOT broiler safe

-Similar to Accolade line, but more expensive (and not induction compatible)

-12pc set about $400/10"-12" skillet set about $80.

Anolon AnolonX skillet set

-Aluminum body

-Nonstick exterior

-Nonstick interior w/304 stainless mesh overlay

-Flush rivets on cooking surface

-Cast stainless handles

-Glass lids

-Induction compatible base

-Dishwasher safe

-Oven safe to 500F

-NOT broiler safe

-10pc set about $580/10" skillet about $100.


Anolon Nouvelle Luxe skillet set

-Anodized aluminum body (thick and heavy)

-PTFE nonstick inside and out

-3 layers of InfinitySlide™ sapphire-reinforced nonstick cooking surface

-Flush rivets on cooking surface

-Induction compatible base w/ 4mm aluminum and 0.6mm copper (plus 2mm anodized aluminum body)

-Stainless lids and handles

-Dishwasher safe

-Oven safe to 500F

-NOT broiler safe

-11 pc set about $430/8"-10" skillet set about $70

-Recommended for skillets only.

Anolon Nouvelle Stainless 10pc set

-Stainless steel body (NOT tri-ply)

-Induction compatible base w/4mm aluminum and 0.6mm copper 

-Polished exterior/brushed cooking surface

-Stainless lids and handles

-Induction compatible

-Dishwasher safe

-Broiler safe

-Oven safe to 500F

-10 pc set about $300/8"-9.5" skillet set about $80.

Anolon SmartStack 10pc set

-Anodized aluminum body

-PTFE nonstick inside and out

-3 layers of InfinitySlide™ sapphire-reinforced nonstick cooking surface

-Stack less than 13" tall

-Flush rivets on cooking surface

-Induction compatible

-Dishwasher safe

-SureGrip rubberized handles

-NOT broiler safe

-Interlocking handles to prevent scratching pans

-Glass lids

-Oven safe to 400F

-10pc set about $400/8"-10" skillet set about $80.

Anolon Tri-Ply Clad 12pc set

-Tri-ply stainless-aluminum-stainless body app. 2.3mm thick 

-Polished exterior, brushed interior

-Stainless lids and handles

-Induction compatible

-Dishwasher safe

-Oven safe to 500F

-Broiler safe

-12pc set about $430/12" skillet and lid about $80.

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About Anolon

The Anolon brand is owned by the cookware giant Meyer Corporation. Meyer is the second largest cookware company in the world. They also make Circulon, Farberware, KitchenAid, Ruffoni, Hestan, and more, including several celebrity lines of inexpensive nonstick cookware (Rachel Ray, Ayesha Curry, etc.). They also manufacture private label brands (mostly nonstick) for Sur la Table, Williams-Sonoma, and other kitchen product retailers. Meyer's annual sales are about $75 million. 

Stanley Cheng owns Meyer and began producing cookware in the 1970s. One of Cheng's brilliant innovations was the use of anodized aluminum: Meyer was the first cookware maker to use anodized aluminum for nonstick cookware,. It is stronger and more stable than regular aluminum. In fact, anodized aluminum is stronger than stainless steel. 

Meyer called their first anodized aluminum cookware Circulon, then a few years later came out with a thicker, higher quality line: Anolon. The name Anolon is derived from "anodized aluminum."

Today, Anolon is still Meyer's premium nonstick cookware line and one of the highest quality nonstick brands in the world. Anolon also makes a few lines of clad stainless steel cookware, with and without a nonstick coating.

Both Circulon and Anolon are affordably priced brands--with Circulon being the lower-priced of the two--and have huge appeal in the American nonstick cookware market. We at TRK are not huge fans of nonstick cookware, but if it's what you want, Anolon is one of the highest-quality brands available, as well as being affordably priced. In particular, Anolon Nouvelle Luxe (formerly called Copper Nouvelle) is one of the best performing cookware brands on the market (we'll explain why in our review below).

Meyer has manufacturing plants in Italy, China, and Thailand, and has world headquarters in the United States. The vast majority of their nonstick cookware (probably all of it) is made in Thailand and China.

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About Anolon's Nonstick Coating

On most of their lines, Anolon uses a triple layer of sapphire-reinforced PTFE coating called Infinity Slide™. In some cases, they use a triple layer of sapphire-reinforced PTFE coating, but do not call it Infinity Slide. For example, the Advanced Home line has Infinity Slide coating, while the Advanced line has triple layers of "premium, sapphire-reinforced nonstick coating."

We're not sure what the difference is between the two lines, if anything. According to company reps, both coatings have the same expected lifespan of 2-5 years. We do know that Advanced is an older line that's eventually going to be phased out and replaced by the newer Advanced Home. 

Despite the "sapphire reinforcement," the nonstick surface is smooth. It does not have a rough surface with raised particles like you'll find in granite-reinforced nonstick (such as GraniteRock). This is probably because "sapphire" and "anodized aluminum" are both versions of the stone corundum and the terms can actually be used interchangeably (i.e., all anodized aluminum is a type of sapphire, also known as corundum).

Synthetic sapphire has many uses, including the watch face on Rolex watches. It is one of the hardest substances known to man. 

We're not sure how sapphire (almost certainly synthetic) is incorporated in Anolon's nonstick coating, or if it is just in the underlying layer of anodized aluminum. In any case, Anolon's triple layer of nonstick coating is one of the most durable nonstick coatings we've found. We think its smoothness is a positive feature as well, because rough (reinforced) nonstick surfaces, as popular as they've become, can create nooks and crannies where food can stick. 

Older versions of Anolon used Autograph, a Dupont brand of PTFE coating known for its durability. Infinity Slide is as durable as Autograph, and may be better--if you look at the reviews on Amazon, a surprising number of users say their Anolon cookware lasted for several years, which is far more than most brands of nonstick we've researched and reviewed.

This is impressive, although other reviewers say Anolon is no different than other nonstick brands they've purchased. This wide range of reviews about durability can be frustrating for buyers trying to make a decision, but it's common for many brands of nonstick cookware, and can probably be attributed to how well people take care of their cookware. 

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Anolon Vs. Circulon: How They're Different

Both Anolon and Circulon are anodized aluminum, PTFE nonstick cookware lines made by Meyer Corporation. So how are they different? 

Circulon is Meyer's lower-cost line. Anolon is their premium line.

Circulon may be best known for the raised circular patterns on their pans designed to "take the abuse" of utensils and protect the underlying PTFE coating. Because of the circular pattern, most Circulon pans are "safe" for use with metal utensils. However, if you want your nonstick cookware to last, you should never use metal utensils on it, even if the manufacturer says it's okay.

Unlike Anolon, Circulon pans have no pans with flush rivets (easier to clean) or stainless lids (more durable and generally found on higher-end brands of cookware). Circulon also uses a different nonstick coating, called TOTAL. We're not sure how it compares to the Infinity Slide used on most Anolon pans. 

Though these are all valid differences that we believe make Circulon inferior to Anolon, perhaps the most important is that Circulon pans are thinner, and their heating performance will suffer because of it. We always recommend buying the heaviest pans you can comfortably handle, because heavy pans are going to heat more evenly and hang onto heat better. Anolon has some lines with truly excellent heating, while Circulon doesn't really offer this important feature. 

Since the price difference isn't huge and most Anolon pans are affordable, we think it's a no-brainer which brand to go with. Some reviewers might tell you that if you're a beginner cook you should buy a "beginner" brand like Circulon. We think the opposite is true: if you buy the highest quality pans you can afford, you'll be happier with them, and you will appreciate the better performance regardless of your skill level. 

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Anolon Vs. Calphalon

Calphalon (see Calphalon on Amazon) is another popular brand of cookware, known best for their anodized aluminum nonstick, but they make clad stainless steel and ceramic nonstick lines as well.

Calphalon is an American company owned by Newell Brands. Many people believe Calphalon cookware is made in the USA, but Calphalon has been phasing out their American brands and moving their product manufacturing to China. Calphalon Contemporary and Calphalon Select are still made partially in the USA, but some of these lines' pieces are made in China, as well. (See our article on cookware made in the USA for more information.)

Some of Calphalon's lines are considerably more expensive, and we're not sure what makes them so. 

As for quality, the nonstick is similar to Anolon, but Calphalon doesn't make any product like Nouvelle Luxe with the thick aluminum/copper base, so we have to give Anolon the win for best-performing nonstick cookware.

Calphalon's clad stainless steel is considerably thinner than All-Clad D3 and even thinner than Anolon's tri-ply lines (which are also thinner than All-Clad and its best knockoffs Cuisinart Multiclad Pro and Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad). Therefore, we don't recommend any of Calphalon's clad stainless lines.

What Type of Cookware Does Anolon Make?

Anolon makes two basic types of cookware: PTFE nonstick and clad stainless steel.

Their new AnolonX line is a hybrid PTFE-stainless steel product.

As far as we know, Anolon does not make any ceramic nonstick cookware, or any other types of cookware (e.g., cast iron, carbon steel, enameled, etc.)

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How to Buy Cookware: Considerations

When choosing cookware, you should look at these features: heating properties, durability, safety/stability (lack of reactivity), design/usability, and budget/warranty. We'll tell you what to look for in each category.

Heating Properties

Transferring heat to food is the primary purpose of cookware, so heating is a pan's most important characteristic. Even if you buy nonstick mostly because it's easy to clean, you wouldn't use it if it didn't heat well--that is, quickly and evenly. 

There are two main aspects of heating: thermal conductivity and thermal retention.

Thermal conductivity is a measure of how quickly and how evenly a pan spreads heat throughout. Copper has the highest thermal conductivity rating of all cookware materials, with aluminum in close second place. Since aluminum is inexpensive, it is by far the most common cookware material.

Stainless steel has poor conductivity, which is why it's clad with internal layers of aluminum (and also sometimes copper).

Aluminum cookware tends to have more aluminum--and thicker aluminum--than clad stainless, so it also tends to have better heating properties even though it's cheaper.

Thus, all of Anolon's nonstick lines, which are made with heavy forged aluminum, have good heating properties. Their clad stainless is less impressive, with thinner walls than found on lines like All-Clad, Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad, and Cuisinart Multiclad Pro.

Heat retention is a measure of how long a pan hangs onto heat. It's actually the opposite of thermal conductivity: Copper has very high thermal conductivity, so it has poor heat retention. Another way to say this is that it is very responsive to temperature changes.

Cast iron, on the other hand, has poor thermal conductivity and excellent heat retention: it heats up slowly and unevenly, but once hot, it hangs onto heat for a really long time.

Both properties are important, but thermal conductivity edges out thermal retention for most cooking tasks. In other words, most people prefer a pan that heats quickly and evenly over a pan that heats slowly but hangs onto heat. 

The mass of the pan also matters for both thermal conductivity and heat retention: The heavier and thicker a pan is, the greater both its thermal conductivity and thermal retention, regardless of the material. Thus, a thick pan will heat more evenly and hangs onto heat better than a thin pan, no matter what the material.

If you've ever used a cheap, thin pan and been frustrated by the hot and cold spots, you know exactly what we're talking about. Or, you may even prefer a thin pan because it heats faster than a thick pan--but the thick pan is always going to heat more evenly, providing better performance overall.

So you want to look at two things when considering heating properties: 1) the material, and 2) the mass/thickness. 

Anolon's forged aluminum pans provide better heating overall than their clad stainless pans, with the exception of the Nouvelle Stainless Steel--with its 4mm of aluminum plus 0.6mm of copper in the base, the heating properties are quite good, even though it's disc clad and not fully clad cookware.

Durability

Durability refers to how long a pan will last and how much abuse it can take, and for most buyers is second only to heating performance when selecting cookware. Stainless steel and cast iron are the most durable types of cookware; enameled cookware is also very durable, although the quality of enamel coatings varies greatly.

Nonstick cookware is notoriously un-durable. High heat, metal utensils, abrasive sponges, and cooking spray are all killers of nonstick coatings. If you want nonstick cookware, it's usually because it's easy to clean, and not because it lasts--the average life span of nonstick cookware is 1-5 years. Compared to the stainless and cast iron, which last for decades or even centuries, this is extremely short.

We prefer a durable type of cookware to an un-durable type, but we understand why people are attracted to nonstick. Anolon has some of the longest-lasting nonstick cookware on the market, so if that's what you're looking for, we recommend Anolon over most other makers.

Safety and Stability

Stability means that the cooking surface is non-reactive and won't rust, corrode, affect the flavor of food, or leach toxins and other substances.

Clad stainless cookware is one of the safest and most durable types of cookware on the market. Cast iron, carbon steel, and enameled cookware are also extremely stable. 

Nonstick cookware is stable when used correctly--at low heat, without metal utensils. But it's not the safest choice, even if you're extremely careful when using it. 

If you want to learn more, see our article about Safe, Non-Toxic Cookware.

Design/Usability

Skillet Features

Here, you look at what you want in cookware. What's important to you? What makes cookware great (or not so great) to use?

Important factors to consider are weight, pan shape, handles and helper handles, lid type, how lids fit, rivet design, and overall aesthetic.

Cookware should be functional, but it should also be attractive. Only you can decide what makes cookware usable, what you're willing to pay for, etc.

Having said that, we will add that you should buy the heaviest cookware you can comfortably handle. Heavy cookware is always going to be better quality, and is always going to heat better. 

Don't buy cookware that's hard to lift and maneuver, but the heavier, the better.

Budget/Warranty

Set a budget and stick to it. You can get good quality cookware at all price points, so there is no reason to buy poor quality pans. Anolon is affordably priced cookware, so if you're looking at it, you probably don't want to spend a lot. And although most aluminum nonstick cookware is affordable, Anolon offers some of the best performance for the price--so it's a great brand to go with. Anolon's Nouvelle Luxe (see our detailed review below) is probably the best nonstick cookware you'll find anywhere.

If you want fully clad stainless steel cookware at an affordable price, there are better options than Anolon. Both Cuisinart Multiclad Pro and Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad are closer to All-Clad D3 in construction than any line Anolon makes. But if you want a good quality disc-clad stainless cookware line, Anolon's Nouvelle Stainless Steel is going to offer really excellent performance (see our detailed review below).

Warranty should be a given, and it should be lifetime or at least several decades. There's no reason to buy cookware that doesn't have a long warranty. Anolon cookware has a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects only. This is typical for most cookware, so don't expect a free replacement when your nonstick coating wears out (from any maker). 

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Sets Vs. Open Stock: Which Is Better?

Another buying consideration is sets or open stock (that is, buying individual pieces instead of a whole set). We'll share some recommendations.

For nonstick cookware, we firmly believe that you should buy skillets and only skillets. Nonstick coatings wear out, and you really only need them for dirty jobs like frying, so why buy a whole set that you'll have to replace in a few years? For nonstick, just skillets is really the best way to go. You'll produce less waste and you'll spend less in the long run.

For clad stainless cookware, you could go either way. Our cautions for buying sets are:

  • Be sure you'll use all the pieces in the set
  • Be sure the pieces are the right size (many sets have too-small pieces for a lot of cooks, including some of Anolon's sets).

Sets can be a great way to get a lot of cookware at a great price. Just be sure you need all the pieces, because you won't be saving any money if the pieces sit in your cupboard unused.

Finally, no set is going to have everything you need. We've never seen a set with a roasting pan or baking sheets, and these are some of the most useful pieces you'll own. And most sets come with two small (8"/10") skillets, so you may want to augment with a 12" skillet (we think the most useful size for most jobs). No matter what you buy, you're almost certainly going to want to set aside a little extra to get the other pieces you need.

Everybody's situation is unique, and only you can decide what cookware you need. 

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Anolon Cookware Pros and Cons

Overall, Anolon is good quality cookware. We don't like PTFE nonstick because of how the industry pollutes the planet and still uses toxic chemicals, but if you're going to buy nonstick, Anolon is a good brand. Nouvelle Luxe (nonstick) and Nouvelle Stainless Steel (disc-clad stainless) are the best performing cookware of all their lines (and not even the most expensive).

Pros
  • Nonstick is high quality
  • Affordable
  • Nouvelle Luxe has superb heating performance
  • Nouvelle Stainless Steel is good quality disc-clad cookware
  • Gets a lot of good reviews for longevity and durability.
Cons
  • Even good quality nonstick won't last more than a few years (buy skillets, not sets)
  • Nonstick cookware industry pollutes the planet
  • Their tri-ply fully clad lines are thin, so won't heat well and may warp easily
  • Clad stainless is 18/0, not 18/10 (nickel free; this may be a good thing if you have a nickel allergy).


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*Review: Anolon Nouvelle Luxe

Anolon Nouvelle Luxe skillet set
Anolon Copper Nouvelle Stainless Skille Exploded View

See Nouvelle Luxe on Amazon

See Nouvelle Luxe at BB&B

See the Nouvelle Luxe collection at anolon.com

Overall rating: 4.0

  • PTFE nonstick inside and out
  • 3 layers of InfinitySlide™ sapphire-reinforced nonstick cooking surface
  • Flush rivets on cooking surface
  • Induction compatible base w/ 4mm aluminum and 0.6mm copper (plus 2mm anodized aluminum body)
  • Stainless lids and handles
  • Dishwasher safe (hand washing recommended for longest life)
  • Oven safe to 500F
  • NOT broiler safe
  • 11 pc set about $430/8"-10" skillet set about $70
  • Made in Thailand
  • Lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects.

NOTE: We recommend nonstick cookware for skillets only. Nonstick coatings don't last, and a skillet (or sauté pan) is where you benefit most from it. Even a durable brand of nonstick like Nouvelle Luxe lasts on average just 2-5 years, so it's best to use it only where you need it. 

Nouvelle Luxe, formerly called Copper Nouvelle--has been been one of our favorite nonstick skillets for years. It is one of Anolon's older lines, and less expensive than some of their newer lines, such as Accolade. Yet Nouvelle Luxe has a number of features that make it a better quality line. 

Heating: Nouvelle Luxe's main feature is its astonishingly high-performing base: it has 4mm of aluminum with a 0.6mm layer of copper in the middle. Add to this the 2.5mm-thick aluminum body, and you have a pan with approximately 6mm of aluminum, plus the copper. 

There is simply no other pan at this price point--and maybe not at any price point--that offers this much fast, even, heat-spreading power. And there is certainly no other nonstick pan at this price point that can compete with Nouvelle Luxe.

Durability: Nouvelle Luxe has stainless steel lids, which are more durable than glass (as well as lighter). Nouvelle Luxe is Anolon's only nonstick line with stainless lids. As we've mentioned, stainless lids are a mark of higher quality cookware than glass lids (not always, but in most cases).

Stainless handles add even more durability and make the cookware oven safe to 500F.

The Infinity Slide nonstick is durable as well, but as with all nonstick, don't expect more than 2-5 years of life from these pans--and you still have to be careful with the cookware, not heating it above medium or leaving an empty pan unattended, not using aerosol cooking spray or metal utensils, and always washing by hand.

Safety/Stability: We aren't fans of nonstick because of the toxic chemicals used to manufacture it and the pollution issues created by the PTFE cookware industry. However, when used correctly--at low temperatures, with no metal utensils or aerosol cooking spray and washing by hand without abrasive materials--nonstick cookware is stable and safe to use. 

We much prefer cast iron or carbon steel. But if you want to have one nonstick pan around for eggs and other delicate foods, Anolon Nouvelle Luxe is one of the best choices you can make: it heats like a much more expensive pan and it's about as durable as PTFE pans get. So as long as you use it safely, it should provide years of satisfying performance. 

Design and Usability: Anolon Nouvelle Luxe has a lot of great features that make it user-friendly for most people. Despite its excellent heating performance, it's lightweight and easy to handle: the 12" skillet weighs about 3 pounds.

The stainless lids fit well and add durability (over glass lids). The pans have a nice shape for the most part. Our one complaint is that the skillets are a bit too sloped, resulting in a smaller amount of flat cooking surface than skillets with straighter sides. However, this is a small complaint--if you look at the image above, you can see that the pans have a nice, usable shape.

The skillet sides are a little bit higher than you'll find on some other skillets. We like this, too, although you may not. 

And of course, the flush rivets are an excellent feature that makes these pans easy to clean--there's almost nowhere for food to get stuck on the cooking surface, so they wash up easily.

Usability is a personal thing, and you may have different ideas of what makes a pan great. But overall, we like the way the Nouvelle Luxe pans are designed.

Ease of Cleaning: As with all nonstick, Nouvelle Luxe gets 5 stars for ease of cleaning (the main reason people buy nonstick cookware). But Nouvelle Luxe takes it a step further than other brands with its flush rivets and nonstick coating inside and out. These features make Nouvelle Luxe (as well as some other lines of Anolon) extremely easy to care for. 

Budget and Warranty: Nouvelle Luxe is an affordable brand, with the 8"/10" skillet set priced about $70 (or $35 a piece), or the 10"/12" for about $80. The 11 piece set is about $430 (but we recommend going with just a skillet or two).

Anolon cookware has a lifetime warranty on manufacturer defects, but don't expect them to replace pieces when the nonstick coating wears out. 

Anolon Nouvelle Luxe Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Exceptional heating performance (better than any other Anolon line)
  • Induction compatible
  • Affordable (cheaper than other lines of Analon)
  • Easy to clean
  • Stainless lids and handles
  • Durable (compared to other brands of nonstick cookware).

Cons:

  • Nonstick coating won't last very long (average life of 2-5 years).

Recommendation

Anolon Nouvelle Luxe (aka Copper Nouvelle) has been our favorite nonstick brand for years, and we are happy to finally do a review of it. The thick copper/aluminum base provides stellar heating, while the flush rivets and nonstick coating inside and out mean super easy care. Stainless lids and handles add durability. While we prefer cast iron over nonstick because of the environmental issues with PTFE manufacturing practices, we know people are going to continue to buy nonstick pans. Nouvelle Luxe is the absolute best nonstick skillet on the market--better than brands costing hundreds more.

Anolon Nouvelle Luxe skillet set

buy anolon nouvelle luxe:

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*Review: Anolon Nouvelle Stainless Steel

Anolon Nouvelle Stainless 10pc set

See Nouvelle Stainless on Amazon

See Nouvelle Stainless at BB&B

See the Nouvelle Stainless collection at anolon.com

Overall rating: 3.8

  • Stainless steel body (NOT tri-ply), 18/0 (nickel-free) steel throughout
  • Induction compatible base w/4mm aluminum and 0.6mm copper
  • Polished exterior/brushed cooking surface
  • Stainless lids and handles
  • Induction compatible
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Broiler safe
  • Oven safe to 500F
  • 10 pc set about $300/8"-9.5" skillet set about $80
  • Made in Thailand and China
  • Lifetime warranty against manufacturer defects.

Anolon Nouvelle Stainless Steel isn't quite as stellar as the Nouvelle Luxe nonstick because the body of the cookware is steel, not aluminum. This means the body doesn't add to the amazing heat transfer properties of the base as the aluminum body of Nouvelle Luxe does. Even so, we think the Nouvelle Stainless Steel is Anolon's best line of stainless cookware.

Heating: This is disc-clad cookware (no aluminum up the sides), but the base is the same as the Nouvelle Luxe, which means it has 4mm of aluminum plus 0.6mm of copper in the center. This is equivalent to a little more than 5mm of aluminum, which is what you'll find in high-end disc-clad stainless cookware. (For example, Demeyere Atlantis disc-clad pieces have 2mm of copper plus two very thin layers of silver, which is roughly equivalent to 4.5-5mm of aluminum.) 

This configuration gives Nouvelle Stainless better heat transfer than Anolon's fully clad lines, which have about 1.5mm of aluminum. So even though the heat transfer is on the bottom only, these pans will outperform Anolon's other clad stainless lines.

This proved true in our testing. The Nouvelle Stainless performed very well, with extremely even heating and excellent heat retention. Everything we cooked turned out great. (Oil or butter is required to keep food from sticking to the stainless cooking surface.)

We would prefer that the disc wrapped around the pan bottoms, as that would eliminate the heat discontinuity issue you can get with disc-clad cookware. However, the thick base has enough heating power to make this a non-issue in most instances. Having said that, you may need to do more stirring (or avoid the sides of the pan) with particularly heat-sensitive foods, especially in the skillets.

Durability: Compared to nonstick cookware, these pans are built like tanks and will outlast any nonstick pans on the market. But we take points off because the steel Anolon uses is 18/0 throughout. Higher-end brands use 18/0 (nickel free) steel on the base for induction compatibility and 18/10 stainless for the cooking surface because 18/10 is more corrosion resistant. 

The 18/0 isn't ideal, but it does help to keep the cost down on this cookware: at about $300 for the 10-piece set, it's a great deal. You may see some discoloration on this steel, but it won't affect the performance. And the thick disc base virtually guarantees against warping, which you will see on thinner fully clad stainless cookware (like some of the other Anolon stainless cookware). 

Stainless lids and handles add to the durability of Nouvelle Stainless. 

Safety/Stability: Having a stainless steel cooking surface makes this safe, stable, non-reactive cookware. No, the 18/0 isn't quite as stable as 18/10 ("surgical" steel), but any stainless steel is going to be more stable than any nonstick cooking surface. Furthermore, there's no nickel, so there's no leaching of nickel into your food (although there may be some small amounts of chromium that leach into food). 

Overall, clad stainless steel is our top choice for safe cookware, and Nouvelle Stainless is a great choice.

Design and Usability: One of the first things you notice about Nouvelle Stainless is that it's beautiful cookware. The exterior has a high-polish finish, and the copper band on the bottom adds to the beauty. The pans have a swoopy, tulip-shape that you'll either love or hate. (We prefer straight-sided pans, as they're easier to stack and will have more contact with the stove burner, but these pans are very pretty nevertheless.) The handles are big and roomy and look great with the rest of the design. 

The cookware is fairly light for steel cookware, with the 12" skillet weighing about 3 pounds--with most of the weight in the base, this makes sense, and doesn't detract from the heating properties. However, the stainless walls are thin and may dent easily. (We didn't have any issues in testing, but we didn't drop any pans, either.)

The stainless lids fit snugly, sitting inside the rim. This looks great, but we take a few points off here because it limits the volume the pans can hold (although only slightly). The lid handles are great, very comfortable and easy to grip. 

The stainless handles on the pans themselves are also great, comfortable and easy to grip. In fact, Anolon's stainless steel handles are some of our favorites in the entire cookware industry.

The Anolon steamer fits these sauce pans, which is an excellent piece you'll get a ton of use out of.

The pan interiors are brushed stainless, which we also aren't crazy about, as polished stainless cleans up a little easier. We're not sure why Anolon uses a brushed interior on their stainless cookware, but having said that, the difference isn't huge, and we didn't notice more effort required in cleanup.

If you're looking at the set, be sure the sizes are what you want: we found the 1.5/2.5 quart sauce pans to be on the small side. The 6.5-quart stock pot is also a little small. And while we prefer a 12-inch skillet, the 8"/10" sizes are pretty standard. There's a 3.5-quart open stock sauce pan available, plus some other pieces, but all in all there aren't a lot of open stock choices to augment the set. We found a 12" skillet at Bed, Bath & Beyond, but there isn't one on the Anolon website, so they may be phasing it out (a really bad decision if that's the case).

And unfortunately, these pans do not have the flush rivets the Nouvelle Luxe have. That seems to only be available on Anolon's nonstick lines--too bad, because it would be a great feature on their stainless lines, too.

Ease of Cleaning: No stainless cookware is going to get top marks for easy cleanup. However, if you use the cookware correctly--that is, with oil or butter, only turning food after it's released naturally from the pan--cleanup is pretty easy. 

These pans are dishwasher safe, but dishwasher detergent can dull the finish, so if you want to keep your pans looking reat, we recommend washing by hand. 

Budget and Warranty: As with all Anolon, Nouvelle Stainless is affordable, with the 10 piece set about $300. This is an amazing deal. Anolon has a lifetime warranty on manufacturing defects. 

Anolon Nouvelle Stainless Steel Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Excellent heat transfer, with 4mm of aluminum and 0.6mm of copper in the disc base
  • Induction compatible
  • Affordable
  • Stainless lids and handles (for added durability)
  • Very pretty.

Cons:

  • 18/0 stainless throughout; not as durable as 18/10 (but nickel free--great for people with nickel allergies)
  • Set pieces are on the small side, and open stock options are limited.

Recommendation

If you like the looks of Nouvelle Stainless, we think it's a good buy. The disc cladding is thick enough to provide fast, even heating, enough to give fully clad cookware at this price point (and maybe even more expensive cookware) a real run for its money. The 18/0 (nickel free) stainless isn't as durable as 18/10, but even so, this cookware should last for decades. Plus, it's really, really pretty.

Anolon Nouvelle Stainless 10pc set

BUY ANOLON NOUVELLE Stainless Steel:

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About the Lines We Don't Recommend

Accolade

Anolon Accolade Skillet Set

See Accolade on Amazon

See Accolade at BB&B

See the Accolade collection at anolon.com

Accolade is a good product, with its interior and exterior nonstick, stainless handles, and stainless base for induction compatibility. But like most of our non-recommendations, it can't compete with the Nouvelle Luxe line, which the thick aluminum plus 0.6mm of copper in the base. Nouvelle Luxe also has the newest Infinity Slide nonstick coating, while Accolade does not. Finally, Nouvelle Luxe has stainless steel lids, while Accolade has glass lids. 

Best of all, Nouvelle Luxe is less expensive. 

Accolade is high quality nonstick cookware, but it's not as good as Nouvelle Luxe.

Advanced/Advanced Home

Anolon Advanced Hard Anodized 10:12 Skillet Set

Anlon Advanced skillets

Anolon Advanced Home Indigo Skillet

Anolon Advanced Home skillet

See Advanced at Amazon

See the Advanced collection at anolon.com

See Advanced Home on Amazon

See Advanced Home at BB&B

See the Advanced Home collection at anolon.com

Advanced and Advanced Home--Advanced Home eventually to replace Advanced in the marketplace--is a more budget line of Anolon. It's very popular, but like Accolade, it can't compete with Nouvelle Luxe. The rubber handles will wear out, the cooking surface has raised rivets, they have glass lids, and without the thick induction disc, the heating properties are nowhere near as even as Nouvelle Luxe.

If you're looking for a budget brand or really want the rubber handles and/or glass lids, go with Advanced Home--it's got the upgraded Infinity Slide nonstick and has more color options.

Advanced Tri-Ply and Tri-Ply Clad

Anolon Advanced Tri-Ply 8:10 Skillet Set

Anolon Advanced Tri-Ply skillet set

Anolon Tri-Ply Clad 12pc set

Anolon Tri-Ply Clad 12 piece set

See Advanced Tri-Ply on Amazon

See the Advanced Tri-Ply collection at anolon.com

See Tri-Ply Clad on Amazon

See Tri-Ply Clad at BB&B

See the Tri-Ply Clad collection at anolon.com

We normally prefer fully clad lines to disc-clad lines of stainless cookware, but with Anolon, it's the opposite. Unfortunately, their fully clad lines are too thin to provide good heat transfer. At just 2.25mm thick, the cookware doesn't contain enough aluminum to heat very evenly. This means you'll have problems with hot and cold spots.

The thinness also means warping could be an issue.

We also suspect that both lines are made from 18/0 rather than 18/10 steel, which means less corrosion resistance. (However, if you have nickel allergies, this may be a plus.)

If you really want fully clad Anolon cookware, go with the Tri-Ply Clad. It has stainless handles and lids, so it's more durable than the Advance Tri-Ply. 

It's pretty cookware, but once again, it can't compete with the Nouvelle Stainless Steel line.

Having said all of that, we will add that the Tri-Ply Clad set gets really great reviews on Amazon, with a positive rating above 90%. We agree that the cookware feels solid and well made (though the handles add to that weight more than the pans themselves). If you haven't used higher end brands like All-Clad or Demeyere, then you may really like this cookware. It has some nice features, like stainless lids and handles, and it's a nice looking set. 

We recommend going with the Tri-Ply Clad over the Advanced Tri-Ply, but we prefer the Nouvelle Stainless Steel to both of them.

Allure

Anolon Allure skillet

See Allure on Amazon

See Allure at BB&B

See the Allure collection at anolon.com

The Allure collection has a lot going for it, with its heavy base (2.5mm), the Infinity Slide coating, flush rivets, and stainless handles. It's also reasonably priced. But once again, it can't compete with the Nouvelle Luxe line for heating performance. So for just a little bit more, you can have stellar heating properties (Nouvelle Luxe) rather than good-but-not-great. 

As with most of Anolon's nonstick, Allure is better quality than most brands at this price point, but Nouvelle Luxe is head-and-shoulders better than all of them.

AnolonX

Anolon AnolonX skillet set

See the AnolonX collection at anolon.com

AnolonX is Anolon's newest, hybrid nonstick/stainless collection similar to Hexclad. This cookware has a lot of nice features, but once again it doesn't have the heavy base of the Nouvelle Luxe, so it won't have the excellent heating properties. 

Just as important, there are some real issues with the hybrid design: it's not true nonstick, and you will notice that in using it. And, it lacks the durability of stainless steel because of the layer of PTFE nonstick just below the steel lattice. In our opinion, these hybrid pans are a solution looking for a problem.

If you want to read more about hybrid cookware, see our Hexclad review. It's a different product, but the same basic design, and the same issues apply.

SmartStack

Anolon SmartStack 10pc set

See SmartStack on Amazon

See SmartStack at BB&B

See the SmartStack collection at anolon.com

SmartStack is Anolon's line for those with limited storage space. The entire 10-piece set fits into a space less than 13 inches tall. The handles interlock to protect the nonstick cooking surfaces from scratching.

It's a nice design, and the prices are about the same as other Anolon nonstick. If you need a full set of cookware that will fit into a small space, we would prefer All-Clad D3 Compact. But if you want nonstick, this set is a decent choice.

But again, the Nouvelle Luxe has superior heating properties, and is also more durable with its stainless lids and handles. 

If you have limited storage space, do you really need a 10-piece set of cookware? How about one or two skillets, one 3-quart sauce pan, and a stock pot or Dutch oven, plus a baking sheet or two? 

Having said that, the set pieces in this set are excellent--somewhat ironically, you get bigger pieces than you do in most other Anolon sets, including a 12-inch skillet (plus two smaller ones), a 4-quart sauce pan, and an 8-quart stock pot. You even get the fabulous steamer insert. The SmartStack set has some of the best pieces of all the Anolon sets.

So if you have a small space and want a whole set, SmartStack is actually a pretty good choice. It just can't compete with Nouvelle Luxe for performance or durability (with its rubber handles and glass lids).

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Anolon Cookware FAQs

Is Anolon a good brand?

For affordable nonstick-coated aluminum cookware, Anolon is a good brand. Their Nouvelle Luxe with copper in the base offers some of the best heating performance you'll find in nonstick cookware and also has a durable nonstick coating.

Is Anolon cookware safe?

When used correctly--low heat, no metal utensils, no aerosol cooking spray, always hand wash--Anolon cookware is safe. However, the entire PTFE nonstick cookware industry is not well regulated, so it has been dumping toxic chemicals into the environment since the 1950s (and continues to do so). Anolon cookware is PFOA-free, as is all nonstick cookware made since PFOA was outlawed in 2015. But the chemicals that have replaced it are also toxic. Read more about this in our article What Is PFOA? A Guide to Nonstick Cookware Chemicals.

Is Anolon cookware dishwasher safe?

Some lines of Anolon are dishwasher safe and some aren't; we tell you which in the table at the beginning of this article. However, we recommend hand washing all your cookware if you want it to stay looking good and last as long as possible. Dishwasher detergents have abrasive chemicals that break down nonstick coatings over time.

Does Anolon cookware contain teflon?

Teflon is a brand name for PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene). Teflon was the first PTFE on the market, but today there are hundreds of them. So technically, Anolon cookware does not contain Teflon, but its Infinity Slide nonstick coating contains PTFE.

Remember, there are only two types of nonstick coating: PTFE-based and ceramic nonstick. Anolon does not make any ceramic nonstick cookware as far as we know.

Is Anolon cookware induction compatible?

Some lines of Anolon are induction compatible, including our two recommendations, Nouvelle Luxe (nonstick) and Nouvelle Stainless Steel (disc-clad stainless). Our table at the beginning of this article lists induction compatibility for all the Anolon lines.

Where Is Anolon Cookware Made?

Meyer Corporation has cookware manufacturing plants in Italy, Thailand, and China. Their nonstick and clad stainless lines are probably made in Thailand and China.

How long does Anolon cookware last?

Anolon nonstick will last an average of 1-5 years, though some users report that it's lasted up to 10 years (you shouldn't expect this though, even with the best care you can give it).

Anolon stainless steel cookware should last a lifetime, although their fully clad lines are thin and may warp, and their stainless steel is 18/0, which is less corrosion resistant than 18/10 (used in higher-end brands like All-Clad).

All Anolon cookware comes with a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects--don't expect this to cover the nonstick coating when it wears out unless you can prove it was defective when you purchased it.

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Final Thoughts on Anolon Cookware

We are not fans of nonstick cookware mostly for environmental reasons. But if you're going to buy it, Anolon is good quality. Most of their lines get positive reviews from users and some say their pans lasted many years (very rare for nonstick cookware).

You can't really go wrong with any of the lines, but the Nouvelle Luxe is far-and-away the best line (and not even the most expensive). 

And if you do buy nonstick pans, it's best to go with just skillets--that's where you need the nonstick most, and you won't end up throwing an entire set into a landfill in a few years.

If you want clad stainless steel, there are better choices, but we do really like the Nouvelle Stainless Steel, which, even with its disc-clad design, provides excellent, even heating--better than both of their fully clad lines.

Thanks for reading!

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